Sunday, November 27, 2011

Merry Christmas generic holiday season, from President Obama

"President Obama’s campaign team has put together a website to remind us what the Yuletide season is truly all about — getting him re-elected."

(H/T: Tim Blair)

Update: Yojimbo, in the comments - "Great gifts. If you hurry, you can get the yoga pants in time to watch the Nav(e)l Academy play Army as you scream "co-exist" while rooting for a 0-0 score."

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sunday funnies

A joke. Stop me if you've heard this one.

A game warden was driving down the road when he came upon a young boy carrying a wild turkey under his arm. He stopped and asked the boy, 'Where did you get that turkey?'

The boy replied, 'What turkey?'

The game warden said, 'That turkey you're carrying under your arm.'

The boy looks down and said, 'Well, lookee here, a turkey done roosted under my arm!'

The game warden said, 'Now look, you know turkey season is closed, so whatever you do to that turkey, I'm going to do to you. If you break his leg, I'm gonna break your leg. If you break his wing, I'll break your arm. Whatever you do to him, I'll do to you. So, what are you gonna do with him?'

The little boy said, 'I guess I'll just kiss his ass and let him go!'

Friday, November 25, 2011

Property for sale!

Our real estate sales subsidiary - Get Real(ty) - has a brand new listing.

Get Real(ty): "Location isn't everything."

“Lo, I am with you always”

An amazing photo. Coincidence? A happy accident? Perhaps. Anything that can be explained by the natural laws of science is not, technically, a miracle. But I wonder if, sometimes, the concatenation of natural phenomena doesn’t occasionally open a window on the great mystery that underlies existence, itself, and all things that spring therefrom.

I recall an incident that happened nearly 30 years ago (not so dramatic as that described in the story linked above), also featuring a dog. My beloved grandmother – Old Paco’s mother – had recently died. Her loss was keenly felt by our family, and by her wide circle of friends. She was as saintly a woman as I ever knew: a devout Christian, kind and loving, I never knew her to have a harsh word for anybody, and she was open-handed in her charity to all, including strays of both the canine and human varieties. And she had the most marvelous sense of humor; she was what, in older times, one might have referred to as a “merry” person. When she passed away (on All Saints Day), it was if our family had lost its center of gravity, so great had been her spirit and influence.

A few days after her burial, Mrs. Paco and I visited my grandmother’s grave. It is located in a beautiful, tree-shaded cemetery behind the little country church she attended her whole life long, in the foothills of the ancient Uwharrie Mountains. On this day, the sun was shining brightly and there was a light, cool breeze - a perfect autumn morning. My wife and I said a prayer for the repose of my grandmother’s soul, and afterwards I stood there, talking to Mrs. Paco about her, reflecting on how energetic and joyous a woman she had been, how youthful and even playful, in spite of her years. Suddenly, shooting out of the tall grass that marked the northern boundary of the cemetery, a beagle puppy came running, making a beeline for my wife and me. It scampered about us, jumping up and licking our hands, frolicking happily, yipping in excitement. After a minute or so, it took off and disappeared from whence it had come, in the tall grass.

No, I’m not suggesting that my grandmother was reincarnated as a beagle, or that her ghost temporarily inhabited the dog. But it was…an interesting coincidence…that, at the very moment that I was trying, in a fumbling way, to covey to Mrs. Paco a sense of my grandmother’s lively and innocent happiness, a living metaphor for unsuppressed joy came bounding out of the weeds, conjuring up the image of the very spirit that I had been groping ineffectually to describe, and a sense that that spirit had not succumbed to, but had broken free of, the bonds of mortality.

It all makes me wonder if the miraculous doesn’t perhaps have as much to do with the timing, as well as with the nature, of events. After all, there’s no reason why God shouldn’t use “natural” instrumentalities, the physical laws that He has created for us and that we can observe and measure, as vehicles for divine grace or answers to our prayers or consolation to those who grieve. And He need not always speak from a burning bush; a dog and a beam of sunlight do very well.

Seeing (things) is believing

Tim Blair links to an article in the Guardian by one Rick Moody, who, apparently under the influence of some mind-altering drug, looks at Hollywood and sees fascists everywhere. Two citations strike me as particularly strange:
Or what about the expensive and aesthetically pretentious Gladiator (2000), which I still contend is an allegory about George W Bush's candidacy for president, despite the fact that director and principal actor were not US citizens. Is it possible to think of a film such as Gladiator outside of its political subtext?
Well, I think it is for most people who aren’t in thrall to hallucinatory conspiracy theories, but then I’m probably a cryptofascist, too, so what do I know? And then there’s this, in connection with the Occupods:
…OWS is focused primarily on income inequality, and thus mainly taken up with domestic politics, such that OWS doesn't really take a position on the "ruthless enemy" and doesn't need to.
“Focused primarily on income inequality” – i.e., not concerned with foreign affairs. Oh, really?.

That’s quite a kaleidoscope through which Moody has chosen to look at the world.

Is it reactionary right-wingers who want to throw non-violent offenders in jail?

Why, no, actually. According to Jonah Goldberg, the hardliners turn out to be Democrats and their masters in the correctional-employee unions.
In a state where more than two-thirds of crime is attributable to recidivism, CCPOA [California Correctional Peace Officers Association] has spent millions of dollars lobbying against rehabilitation programs, favoring instead policies that will grow the inmate population and the ranks of prison-guard unions. In 1999, it successfully killed a pilot program for alternative sentencing for nonviolent offenders. In 2005, it helped kill Schwarzenegger’s plan to reduce overcrowding by putting up to 20,000 inmates in a rehabilitation program. It opposes any tinkering with the “three strikes law” that might thin the prison rolls.

According to UCLA economist Lee E. Ohanian in an illuminating paper for The American, “America’s Public Sector Union Dilemma,” California’s corrections officers have exploited their monopoly labor power to push policies that will expand the prison population and, as a result, the demand for guards who just happen to be the best-paid corrections officers in the country. That’s why, contrary to what the Marxist sages would expect, they’ve successfully kept privately run prisons out of the state.
My, my. So, the Democrats are willing to suppress their bleeding hearts long enough to support union attempts to increase the size of the prison population, because that means bigger, stronger correctional unions – which can be relied on, naturally, to favor the Democrats with generous political donations. Liberal Fascism, anyone?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Feet Friday

Benny Goodman and Carmen Miranda team up on “Paducah”.

Tatiana Limanova joins the 99%

The Russian newsreader has been sacked for guessing at Obama's I.Q. level on live television.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you all have a great day. Enjoy your turkey and pumpkin pie.

Fishersville Mike lets Darth Vader do the carving. And Dan Collins has a few tips for, er, a "memorable" Thanksgiving.

The problem with this idea... that it would give us two more Democratic senators.
A state Republican legislator has introduced a bill to the Illinois General Assembly to separate the Chicago's county from the state--effectively making the midwestern city the 51st state in the union.

The bill, filed by State Rep. Bill Mitchell of Decatur Tuesday, would "enact legislation dividing Illinois and Cook County into separate states" because county residents "hold different and firmly seated views" on "politics, society, and economics" from people in the rest of the state. The bill's supporters point to higher tax rates and strict gun laws in the Chicago area and contend that the northern county is out of step with its Illinois neighbors.

I need to master this for the office

China's invisible man.

Millard Fillmore and U.S. Grant are starting to look better, too

Why, yes, as a matter of fact, Jimmy Carter was a better president than Barack Obama. Holman Jenkins, Jr. explains:
The Carter presidency was a mixed bag, but he had the requisite adult judgment for the job. He did not abandon his "progressive" values, but he could see the obvious—that the times called for backing and filling in the "progressive" project, not charging ahead, onward and upward oblivious to realities.

He never got credit from the political calendar, but the Reagan economy was truly built on a Carter-Reagan foundation. Lost amid the shouting, the continuities of American life are often impressively large. Check out Mr. Carter's speech to the 1980 Democratic convention, in which he boasted unembarrassedly and at length about "slashing regulations" and "restoring free enterprise" to failing regulated industries.

You perhaps see where we're going. Mr. Obama's career has been one in which the main effect has been the impression he leaves on audiences—the main effect has been himself. Familiarity with his country—or any other country—would be helpful at this point, if only to counterweight his mesmerization with the arc of his personal story…

The suspicion becomes nigh irresistible, however, that Mr. Obama is lacking in the leadership department as the country stumbles towards its ultimate financial crisis. But give him credit for one world-historical achievement: He makes Carter look good.

Does the “Coexist” bumper sticker come with instructions?

Seraphic Secret has a post on the monstrous Mohammad Shafia, who murdered his three daughters and one of his wives in an “honor” killing.

The very word “honor” is an obscenity in the mouths of fanatics like Shafia. Too bad Canada can’t bring the gallows out of mothballs, just this once.

You've got mail

Tim Blair has a roundup of links on the subject of the new Climategate email releases.

Bonus smear-quote from cli-fi fabularch Michael Mann: "Agents doing the dirty bidding of the fossil fuel industry know they can’t contest the fundamental science of human-caused climate change. So they have instead turned to smear, innuendo, criminal hacking of websites, and leaking out-of-context snippets of personal emails in their effort to try to confuse the public about the science and thereby forestall any action to combat this critical threat. Its right out of the tried-and-true playbook of climate change denial."

Now he tells us

Obama tells a group of Occupod hecklers, "You are the reason I ran for office."

And that is certainly one reason that I would like to see him run out of office.

Update: A protester manages to slip the President a note.

Race-based government in Hawaii?

Democratic Senator Daniel Inouye (good lord, is he still around?) is trying to sneak the so-called "Akaka" legislation through congress in the form of a clause buried in an Interior Department funding bill (the Akaka legislation would recognize native Hawaiians as a separate people, with power to negotiate separately with the federal and state governments).

Opposition to this law is a plank in the Paco platform. If it does pass, however, who wants to be ambassador to Hawaii?

(H/T: Overlawyered)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Great vetting, TSA!

A Transportation Security Administration worker has been charged with sexual assault.
The suspect, Harold Glen Rodman, 52, allegedly was wearing his uniform and displayed a badge to the victim, a 37-year-old woman.

Police arrested Rodman on Nov. 20. He is charged with aggravated sexual battery, object sexual penetration, forcible sodomy and abduction with intent to defile.
Still, no need to feel uncomfortable when you get felt up by these guys at airports, folks. Remember: they’re like doctors.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hey, at least she was completely upfront about it

Russian news reader Tatiana Limanova let fly a truly regal bird as she mentioned Obama's name during a newscast.

Har! Ok, maybe a tad unprofessional. But at least her gesture was not the sneaking specimen that Obama, himself, hatched when he was debating Hillary Clinton and John McCain, under cover of scratching his nose.

Maybe it's time to hit the "reset" button, again.

The mayor may want to deal with this personally

Darth Vader showed up at the office of the mayor of Kiev recently to demand a parking spot for his space cruiser.

“Seriously? In triplicate? I find your excessive paperwork requirements…disturbing.”

Elizabeth Warren: a case study in being educated beyond one’s intelligence

An exquisite video-fisking of Warren’s views on the “social contract”, via the excellent Small Dead Animals.

Fifty-two-congressman pickup

Fifty-two congressmen have demanded Eric holder’s resignation as Attorney General.

Really? Only fifty-two? Still, that’s a pretty hefty number. While they’re calling for Holder’s ouster, they should also be demanding the resignation of all the Obama appointees in the Civil Rights Division who have conspired to promote the dubious legal theory that only minorities can be victims of civil rights abuses.

Why is James Hansen still employed by the U.S. government?

Warm-monger James Hansen is one of the shrillest of the bogus prophets of climate doom, and now it comes out that he “forgot” to disclose $1.6 million in income (which is a requirement for government contractors).

When I become president, I want this guy out, day one.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Negotiations are not the answer

An outstanding observation by Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection, writing about the imminent failure of the Super Committee:
Negotiations never were going to resolve conflicting visions of the role and expansion of government. Only elections can resolve those competing visions.

Spain goes conservative

In a landslide.

More details here.

Texas history emerging from vanishing lakes

The drought in Texas is causing some old abandoned towns to reappear.

Monday Movie

Kirk Douglas makes an impassioned plea for mercy in Paths of Glory.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sunday funnies

Hmmm. A toddler's rules of possession strongly resemble the ideology of the Occupods.

Moonbattery has a hilarious photo of Neil Armstrong and John Boehner. (BTW, what is it with Boehner and the overactive tear ducts?)

Shocking discovery made by European bureaucrats: water does not prevent dehydration.

Border patrol in the Obama Administration:

Update - Great moments in rhetoric: The "Gettysburg Address" of the Occupy movement (H/T: Jazz Shaw at Hot Air).

Update II - Iowahawk, with apologies to Allan Sherman.

Ah, these eccentric geniuses!

In this article about classic toys, we learn some curious facts about the inventor of the Slinky.
An American invention, the Slinky was dreamed up by naval engineer Richard T. James, who hit upon the idea while working at a shipyard in Pittsburgh. Over 300 million have been sold in its 60-year history, earning James a fortune...which he abandoned in 1960 when he went nuts and disappeared to join a Bolivian religious cult.
Bolivia. The graveyard of many a good man.

Train robbery

A little different twist.

Update - In other crime news: if you plan on committing a burglary, you may want to lay off the bath salts.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Just in time for Christmas!

Looking for a tasty pick-me-up with proven health benefits? Then try our new tea, distributed through Panda-Assisted Comestibles Online.

Yes, this brand new variety – which we call "poolong" – is made from tea fertilized with panda feces. Not only is it delicious, it helps prevent cancer, gout and the West Indian dry gripes. And at $36,000 per pound, it’s a steal!

Frankly, you can’t afford not to drink it. Order now, and we’ll throw in a complementary bag of our other new product, “Coughee”: a rich blend of Brazilian and Colombian coffees, harvested from plants fertilized with tree sloth phlegm. Just the thing to wash down a breakfast of our hash brown pootatoes™ and scrambled-egg crâps™!

The little engine that could

Or can, now, thanks to a combination of environmental fear-mongering and crony capitalism.
Crony capitalism is alive and well and occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The latest billionaire donor to cash in on his connections to President Obama is Warren Buffett, who now joins billionaire George “Solyndra” Kaiser and George “Petrobras” Soros in cashing in on Obama’s pay-to-play energy policy. Warren Buffett is about to make a pile of money off the Bakken Oil Shale in North Dakota the old-fashioned way with a monopoly worthy of John D. Rockefeller.

Here is how it works, President Obama put the brakes on the Keystone Pipeline, which would have delivered oil from Canada. That delay means Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad will be shipping a lot of oil (10 times as much as it does today) not from Canada but from North Dakota — American oil for American cars and plastics — and Berkshire Hathaway owns 22% of said railroad and will scarf up the remainder of the company.
Well, well, well. Our old friend, Warren “Tax Me Before I Get Richer” Buffett. Obama’s really turning into an old-style despot, showering his favorites with boons (in return for a cut of the profits, of course, in the form of financial and “moral” support). There are few things in life that I can imagine savoring more than the sight of ex-president Obama decamping from the White House in January of 2013. And one of the most admirable things his Republican successor can do is to “not be at home” to Warren Buffet, Jeffrey Immelt and other Vichy capitalists for the next four years.

Yes, but not in a good way

The Daily Caller headline reads, “Obama pursues working-class white voters.”

He sure is - like a mugger trying to chase down an old lady before she gets into her apartment building. Obama’s regulatory overreach is destroying jobs across the land – in the coal industry, for example - and sending the First Lady to a NASCAR race strikes me as a hilarious example of tone-deaf political theater.

Although some good may come of it. I think it might be very instructive to see a photo of our National Diet Despot wolfing down a foot-long hot dog with everything, while swilling from a bottle of Orange Crush.

Obama and his cronies: destroyers of markets

An ominous assessment of the futures and options markets.

And, yes, Jon Corzine is a thief who ought to join Bernie Madoff in jail.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy Feet Friday

The inimitable Ray Charles and friends perform “Hit the road, Jack.”

Bonus Ray Charles! The night time is the right time.

Year of the ginger heads?

First Julia Gillard is all over the news, and now this.

Those are some sweet loopholes!

GE pays no taxes on $14 billion in profits (and takes 57,000 pages to report it).

Ok, nothing wrong with tax avoidance (as opposed to tax evasion). But why should GE also be getting billions of dollars in export and wind-farm subsidies, plus legislation tailored to favor its investments, all in addition to tax breaks? I mean, it's almost like a quid pro quo or something.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Let's shake up Northern Virginia

Smitty is doing his best to help lance the boil that is Democratic congressman Jim Moran, and I'd like to see the donkey rep in my district, Gerry Connelly, returned to private life, too.

Chris Perkins - small businessman, former U.S. Army Colonel and Green Beret - is seeking the Republican nomination in Virginia's 11th District, and he looks like a right Joe. He's already raised $200 thousand, and has received the endorsement of Combat Veterans for Congress.

He's my guy.

I don't think this is what Chesterton meant when he wrote about the democracy of the dead

Democrats in Wisconsin look like they're planning to pull names off of headstones in order to fatten their recall petition against Governor Scott Walker.

Caption time!

H/T: Weasel Zippers

Another great government investment

"U.S. boosts estimate of auto bailout losses to $23.6 B"
The Treasury Department dramatically boosted its estimate of losses from its $85 billion auto industry bailout by more than $9 billion in the face of General Motors Co.'s steep stock decline.

In its monthly report to Congress, the Treasury Department now says it expects to lose $23.6 billion, up from its previous estimate of $14.33 billion.
If you're holding GM stock, you'll probably be getting the bad news in the mail when the annual report is sent out. On the other hand, maybe not.

Good news, Australians

Help is on the way.

Update: President Obama is currently visiting Australia, and Paco Enterprises' insurance subsidiary is pleased to have been chosen to provide him with coverage against crocodile attacks under our Prudential Assurance/Crocodile Offing master policy.

Shouldn't you be covered, too?

Update II:

"What do you mean, there's an outboard-motor-boat exclusion clause?"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The People vs. the President of the United States

The suave (albeit eccentrically cravatted) Smitty schools Julian Pecquet of The Hill on the real issues at stake in the Supreme Court’s decision to hear arguments on the constitutionality of certain key provisions of ObamaCare (and Smitty’s using his patented matrix-fisking format, which I greatly admire).

Exciting new product from Paco Enterprises


The Methanator 5000!!!

Road-tested by yours truly. I had a jumbo serving of Chili Macaroni Hamburger Helper and covered the distance between Farifax, Virginia and Jacksonville, Florida in record time. Get one today and blow away the competition!

The Methanator 5000: Flying on the fumes is now a good thing.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Either that, or they're trying to keep their wigs from being blown off

Barack Obama and Julia Gillard are in Hawaii for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit - which seems to include a ritual game of Simon says...

Obama: "Hah! I didn't say 'Simon says, touch your head', Julia!"

I don’t see Dogs Playing Poker or commemorative Elvis plates in there. Is this really about art?

Roger Sandall questions some of the premises of Neil MacGregor’s A History of the World in 100 Objects.

Assortment (friends edition – Part II)

Stacy McCain has the video of Greta Van Sustern’s interview with Gloria (Mrs. Herman) Cain, while Smitty posts a clip featuring Obama’s, er, welcome in San Diego.

Bingbing bids arrivederce! to Prime Minister Berlusconi.

Tim Blair ponders the link between cricket and suicide.

Mr. G. celebrates guns and hubba hubba!

Pat Austin underscores the fatuity of Obama’s non-energy policy.

Dan Collins stumbles across another one of those amazing coincidences that characterize the Obama Administration.

Randy finds a prime example of the old saw that married people eventually come to resemble each other.

Fishersville Mike thinks the “Arab Spring” analogy with OccupyWallSt. is weak; he proposes another, better analogy.

Kae comes across one of Australia’s few non-lethal creatures in her yard.

Steve at the Pub observes an example of ObamaCare, Australian style.

Dad29 must be a good card-player; he's never lost this kinda dough.

Carol has discovered the perfect human symbol for the Occupods.


I was strolling past the OccupyDC tent-slum this afternoon and was struck by the…aroma. Now, it is said, and truly, that the stimulation of our olfactory glands can be a powerful jolt to our memories, oftentimes calling forth the instant recollection of an experience that one had decades ago – and so it was in my case. The stench coming from McPherson Square took me back to the halcyon days of my youth, when, during the summers, I worked for my father's garbage company and had to make frequent runs to the county landfill. Y-e-s…the smell from the park was exactly the same as the funk rising up from that vast estate of waste, where heterogeneous trash decayed and fermented and ultimately resolved itself into a more-or-less homogeneous mash of organic soup.

And yet the stink didn’t bother me too much, precisely because of the fond old associations. Garbage meant money to the Pacos, and as Old Paco used to say (tongue planted firmly in cheek), his friends would sometimes make fun of him for being a garbage man, which made him cry all the way to the bank. The smell also brought back memories of a cruise I took upon graduating from high school. We put in for a day and a night at San Juan, Puerto Rico in the middle of a sanitation strike. The same stench, perhaps a bit more pervasive. But I danced in the ship’s ballroom with a pulchritudinous young woman, to the wild and joyous strains of “Roll Over Beethoven”, performed by a highly talented little band, after which I drank nine whiskey sours and knew no more.

Ah, the old days are gone forever…But where was I? Oh, yes. McPherson Square. If the self-styled anarchists and Bolshevik poseurs wish to stink their way to victory, then they will find, to their consternation, that this is one partisan of the ancien régime whose nose is proof against that particular weapon.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The death of liberty (by a thousand cuts)

Regulation is Obama's not-so-secret weapon in his effort to transform America into a liberal-fascist state. Derek Hunter discusses a recent sortie by the Obamunists.
The CFPB [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] is set up to be insulated from oversight. It sets its own budget, makes its own rules, sets its own pay, and can pass and enforce regulations unilaterally. So much for that “representative republic” of ours.

It’s a safe bet the regulations the CFPB establishes will not be good for business or liberty. According to the Wall Street Journal’s review of the 820 pages produced at a recent hearing, some of what the agency advocates already has been deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
If we are not vigilant, we are, like the frog in the slow-boiling pot, going to fail to realize the danger until it's too late. Another good reason why the Republican presidential candidates need to disband their circular firing squad and focus on the main enemy.

Monday Movie

Doc Holliday squares off with Johnny Ringo.

Insider trading's illegal, right?

It all depends. Are you a congress critter?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sunday funny

Pinched from Troglopundit.

Assortment (friends edition – Part I)

Liberty at Stake braves pestilence and Paleolithic savagery as he goes among the denizens of the OccupyDC site in McPherson Square.

Richard McEnroe promotes the excellent Operation Gratitude.

Pixie Place has a video of scenes from the front lines in Afghanistan.

The all-seeing Eye of Polyphemus rates Romney.

So does Bob Belvedere.

Et Cetera brings us the story of the man who found a needle in a haystack (or, rather, his wife’s engagement ring in a landfill).

Miss Red actually finds something in the Obama administration to laugh at.

Steve Burri makes me hate ObamaCare even more than I used to.

Swampy says SwampMan may lose his redneck credentials.

Mr. Bingley catches President Obama in another act of irony.

The Classic Liberal mixes economic analysis with Rule 5 action.

Boy on a Bike admires Michael Moore’s humble bungalow.

TimT commits poetry.

Does Darth Vader like latte? Troglopundit thinks not.

Friday, November 11, 2011

What the hell do you mean by that, twerp? (Hey! Are you lookin' at me?)

Conservatives more prone to personality disorders, says this extremely plausible, peer-reviewed-I'm-sure study from Gulf Coast-renowned University of Tampa professor Marcus Arvan.

I wonder if we can find out anything on the internet about Professor Arvan? Why, yes we can!

Let's see, here. He's the author of several gripping works, including "In Defense of Discretionary Association Theories of Political Legitimacy: Reply to Buchanan" (soon to be a major motion picture starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie), and he's also done time as a professional musician (pan pipes? sousaphone?) and as a disc-jockey. I don't see any evidence of expertise in psychology, but perhaps he's a gifted amateur.

Now, about his study. Here are some interesting findings:
Specifically, the research claims to find elements of narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism, also described as "deception," among test subjects.
Hmmmm...M'yes. I think I know what happened. Some wag substituted a personality survey that had been conducted among key members of the Obama administration for the research on conservatives, and Arvan didn't catch the switch. Could have happened to anybody, Doc!

He also taught at the University of British Columbia. Care to know what his students thought of him? I thought you might.

I doubt this will overshadow Veterans Day

If you hear a strange, loud, rhythmic swishing noise, it's probably coming from the marchers in the Corduroy Appreciation Day Parade.

I mean, there is a parade isn't there?

Smitty, in the comments: "Did you not hear the trousers swishing past, as the parade of neck-tie wearers processed?"

Point of interest: This year's Grand Marshal of the Corduroy Appreciation Day Parade...

Moran delenda est

Not the man, personally, of course, but his reign as one of the most liberal, obnoxious and, frankly, stupid Democrats in Congress (Virginia's 8th District).

I am joining Smitty in an armistice in the Great Neck-Wear War to declare my solidarity with Patrick Murray*, who has decided to take up the cudgels against Moran.

*Murray doesn't appear to be a bow-tie wearer, incidentally. I merely mention the fact.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Veterans Day!

Thanks to all who have served their country in uniform, past and present.

William Belmont, who has been vouched for by a very trustworthy friend, is trying to raise money to upgrade the magazines used by some of our troops. Faulty magazines can mean misfires, which can lead to tragic results in battle. I reproduce an email I received from him, below. Help out, if you can.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

I am sending this email to ask for your help in assisting our soldiers that are fighting in Afghanistan .

They are not asking for Gatorade, toothpaste, sweets or baby wipes, all things that would make life in the desert tolerable…What they are asking for is life saving equipment.

This year, at my children’s elementary school, they started an Adopt a Soldier/Pen Pal Program. Each class was assigned a deployed soldier to correspond with and assist if needed.

We received an email from one of the soldiers, Matt S, who is in desperate need of an equipment upgrade. Matt tells us that the rifle magazines they have now (the standard issued aluminum magazines) have been having a lot of feeding issues into their weapons which puts him and his soldiers at risk during fire fights.

Matt told us the following:

The aluminum magazines that are issued are pretty terrible. They require a lot of maintenance and many times they account for over 80% of M4 malfunctions with an otherwise good, well maintained M4. Weapons malfunctions are potentially deadly. We had a close call 2 days ago when we were engaged in a fire fight with the enemy and the guns jammed. More specifically, as you already know, M4 malfunctions are deadly because a soldier must go through certain steps to perform immediate/remedial action in order to fix the issues. Some of these steps will not solve an issue with a magazine. It will require a soldier to get a completely new set of magazines for his kit. Many of my soldiers have been using aluminum magazines and have been having lots of weapons malfunctions. Polymer mags fix this problem because they are more easily well maintained and are able to keep their spring compression a lot longer than normal magazines. These are absolute life savers. Unfortunately they also come at a higher cost than normal magazines.

To replace an entire combat would cost a typical Private about ~$150 dollars at a minimum. For a lot of these infantrymen, with costs of their own (dealing with family issues- Unfortunately a lot of these soldiers are dealing with child support or some kind of family pay issue), but a lot of them are also making out of pocket purchases for additional pieces of kit which makes their life easier. This is an important component of their kit because it directly determines how their weapon fires/feeds. It’s a life and death matter when an individual has only 1 weapon system.

The total cost to properly outfit Matt’s platoon is $2300.

There is an issue with shipping military related equipment overseas (ITAR Law). The US Department of State has restrictions and limitations on who is allowed to ship military type equipment overseas. Instead of boring you with the specifics, I will tell you the good news.

I spoke to an executive at Magpul (a manufacturer of Pmags). He was very cooperative and will do the following:

1 - He will file the necessary paperwork with the USDOS so that Magpul can ship the pmags directly to Matt.

2 – Magpul will absorb the cost to ship the pmags to Matt.

2 - He dropped the cost to $11 per magazine so the total cost to get Matt and his platoon 210 polymer magazines will be $2310.

What better way to acknowledge Veterans Day then to assist our young men and women who are in harms way overseas.

Each magazine is only $11.

Please call or email me if you would like to donate money to this effort. The sooner I get the money, the sooner I can get the Pmags in their hands.

Hopefully, we can get the pmags to them before Turkey Day.


William Belmont, Esq.
The Belmont Group, LLC
118 East 60th Street, Suite 2100
New York, New York 10022
Direct: 212.695.0086
Cell: 917.647.6609
Fax: 917.591.3361

* * * * * * * * *

Since Magpul is helping out, I encourage people to visit their web site and check out their wide variety of fine shooting products.

Update: From Yojimbo in the comments:

And our thoughts are also with all our Commonwealth buddies on this Remembrance Day as well. A red poppy to all our Blairite buddies out there, especially in Canada as "Last Post" is only a few minutes away now in Ottawa.

Happy Feet Friday

Spike Jones and the boys provide some anti-fascist humor in “Hey, Shickelgruber”.

Is Cain finished?

Could be. He’s lost the endorsement of the American Mustache Institute.

Oh, really?

To my unutterable consternation, Pal Smitty has unmasked himself as a bow-tie-ist.

Well, with a fellow possessing as many gifts as Smitty, it would really have been too much to expect complete perfection. Although I confess that I would have been less shocked had he admitted to being a high panjandrum of the Illuminati, or a secret collector of Hummel figurines.

Smitty finds the standard necktie to be a mark of conformity. Indeed it is: a concession among all right-thinking men to tradition and good taste. He also avers that the wearing of a bow tie represents the making of a statement. The only statement I can think of is, “I am so proud of my shirt, that I have taken the liberty of wearing an inconspicuous bit of fluff about my neck so as not to impede your view of this expanse of fabulous Egyptian cotton.”

But as I, and the Romans before me, said, De gustibus non est disputandam (or non disputandam est, according to purists). We may bandy words ad infinitum without proving one side of the case or the other.

In closing, however, I will leave you with a bit of visual evidence that comes as close to proving my point as is humanly possible. Observe the following photos – which, I assure you, were picked completely at random. I leave it to you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, to decide.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Circle jerks

Sweetheart loan guarantees from the Department of Energy? Better than sex, apparently.
"They about had an orgasm in Biden's office when we mentioned Solyndra," reads a Feb. 27, 2010, email from Levit to Mitchell. A follow-up email from Mitchell to Levit later that day responds with: "That's awesome! Get us a (Department of Energy) loan."
The mind reels, the stomach turns.

Another grim story from WWII

Under cover of the occupation and the chaos of the final months of WWII, Parisian doctor and serial killer Marcel Petiot may have killed over a hundred and fifty people.

Our betters

Obama may want to rethink the notion of transforming the U.S. into some kind of European social democracy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Virginia state elections

Republicans, who already control the governorship and the House of Delegates, appear to have fought their way to at least a tie in the State Senate (where tie votes would be broken by the Republican Lieutenant Governor).

I regret that the Republican candidate for State Senate in my district, Gerarda Culipher, lost to incumbent Democrat John Chapman “Chap” Petersen. I cannot abide Petersen, for the following unassailable reasons:

1) He’s a Democrat.

2) His political posters featured nothing but his nickname, “Chap!”, as if he were Elvis or some other notable whose fame had earned him the rare distinction of instant, single-name recognition. The exclamation point I found particularly galling, and interpreted it according to my own lights in the manner and tone of one who has just stepped in something unpleasant.

3) He wears bow-ties.

[Author’s note: I know, I know, there are plenty of partisans for the bow tie out there. De gustibus non est disputandam. Who knows what combination of experiences, sensations, genetic influences and unconscious, Freudian associations go into the make-up of one’s aesthetic dislikes? Some people hate light opera; others cringe at the sound of rap music; still others quail before the color pink, or develop a twitch when they smell the aroma of tuna fish. And I won’t dispute the fact that a very few men manage to bring the bow tie off tolerably well. One of my colleagues has so much inherent, regal dignity that he could probably walk into the office wearing a leopard skin, plus-fours, white ankle socks, a straw boater - and a bow tie – with no questions asked. But he is the exception. As a rule, I simply bar the thing.

I pray that you bow tie fans will not be offended. The fact – and I mean this in the kindliest possible sense - that you enjoy wearing something resembling the dessicated corpse of a bat on your throat is no reflection on your character, education or upbringing, and it is certainly no obstacle to reaching a high place in the respect and affection of yours truly. Live and let live, says I.]

Hope and Humbug

The federal government is proposing a 15% Christmas tree tax.
President Obama’s Agriculture Department today announced that it will impose a new 15-cent charge on all fresh Christmas trees—the Christmas Tree Tax—to support a new Federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees.

In the Federal Register of November 8, 2011, Acting Administrator of Agricultural Marketing David R. Shipman announced that the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint a Christmas Tree Promotion Board. The purpose of the Board is to run a “program of promotion, research, evaluation, and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry’s position in the marketplace; maintain and expend [sic] existing markets for Christmas trees; and to carry out programs, plans, and projects designed to provide maximum benefits to the Christmas tree industry” (7 CFR 1214.46(n)). And the program of “information” is to include efforts to “enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States” (7 CFR 1214.10).
“Enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry”? I confess, I was completely unaware that Christmas tree salesmen had fallen in our esteem to the level of, say, itinerant driveway-pavers or congressmen. I wonder if the tax is high enough?

Update: Implementation of this tax has now been delayed.

“In the Navy, we called a union a mutiny

Good stuff from Smitty on the scourge of public-employee unions.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Transparency Through a glass darkly

The White House is going to plead "executive privilege" on the Solyndra subpoenas.

Knuckle-dragging right-winger condemns EPA

I'm sorry, did I say knuckle-dragging right-winger? I meant former Democratic Senator, Evan Bayh.
Coal contributes nearly $2 billion annually to Indiana's economy, supporting thousands of Hoosier jobs and keeping energy costs modest. It provides low-cost power to keep our state's electric bills affordable and our industries competitive. In this time of economic uncertainty and strained middle-class family budgets, it would be unwise to institute regulations that cost jobs and raise household expenses. Unfortunately, some have not thoroughly examined the broader impact on our economy new federal regulations could have.

The Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology Rule will put tens of thousands of jobs in our state directly at risk by affecting Hoosiers' utilities that rely on coal-fired power to keep our lights on and manufacturing facilities working. Even though the electric utility industry has invested billions of dollars over the past two decades to reduce emissions, the Utility MACT Rule orders coal-fired utilities to spend additional billions on retrofitting technologies to decrease the amount of emissions released as a production byproduct.
Hey, what can I tell you, Evan? Next time, vote Republican.

Paco's Diary

A friend of mine at work occasionally cuts a Dilbert cartoon from the newspaper and brings it by my office (I have quite a collection in my desk drawer, now). What prompts his desire to share is the eerie sense, experienced by both of us, that the senior people in our organization are getting their management ideas from Scott Adams. They fail to see that the Dilbert cartoons represent an exercise in the diagnosis of corporate/bureaucratic pathology, a window on the arrogance, ignorance, cowardice and inefficiency that plagues many, if not most, bureaucracies, whether corporate or government; on the contrary, the leaders of our little agency sometimes give the impression that they consider Dilbert an operating manual.

Case in point. All federal agencies participate in an Employee Satisfaction Survey which is given out annually. Our agency rated so low this year that the Office of Personnel Management reportedly contacted us and asked “what the hell are you people doing over there?” (or words to that effect). Senior management – by which I mean the political appointees and their legions of flying monkeys – called a meeting of the senior and mid-level career (i.e., non-political) managers and hired – you guessed it! – a consulting firm to come in and help us learn how to better motivate our employees.

The problem, however, is not motivation. The problem, it is well-nigh universally agreed, is the politicals, themselves, particularly their capacity for sucking up personnel and financial resources that are desperately needed by the business units of the agency, a phenomenon which is further exacerbated by the creation of a heavier work load per capita as a result of a proliferation of new initiatives requiring the use of more man-hours at the career staff level (with no additional, or in some cases, with fewer people to do the work). Add to the mix an enormous amount of frustration stemming from the spurious and poorly-thought-out rationales for some of the initiatives, and you have an obvious explanation for the poor quality of employee morale.

The meeting turned out to be far more candid that I had anticipated, and the people who dwell “in the rafters”, as we say here, pretty much got it in the neck. They seemed somewhat taken aback, but took it all surprisingly well (perhaps not so surprisingly; they were outnumbered five to one). The result, naturally, is that time-tested venture in futility, a committee, that will discuss the matter and undoubtedly prolong the search for solutions until the next election (when, may it please God, this crew will be on the way out).

Incidentally, I was driven nearly to distraction by a fellow who sat next to me. He has an artificial heart valve, and he ticked for nine and a half hours. Still, better that he ticked than otherwise; he is a decent chap, and I wish him well.

Chutzpah on stilts

In spite of the almost-universally acknowledged disaster that is Fast and Furious, Attorney General Eric Holder, grilled at a Senate hearing today, still managed to work in a pitch for stronger gun control in his written testimony. Oh, and to the family of Bryan Terry, the Border Patrol officer who was murdered with one of the gun-walked weapons? Pound sand.

Can we all agree that he’s now blatantly insulting our intelligence? I don't know about you, but, next to Obama, this is the weasel I most want to see ejected from his perch in the federal government.

The science is settled

Open microphones attract loose lips.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Joe Frazier, RIP

Former heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier died this evening from liver cancer. God rest his soul, and comfort his family, friends and fans.

Here are some scenes from the "Fight of the Century", including Frazier knocking Muhammad Ali down in the 15th round.

Expect me to be named as a sexual harasser any day now

It’s the double-breasted suits.

I also wear fedoras; might as well have the word “Masher!” tattooed on my forehead.

Me: "Good morning, ma'am. Have a nice day."

My suit: "Hey, baby, want to come upstairs and look at my etchings?"

Time to bring in the water cannons

The Occupy sites around the country have turned into enclaves of depravity and violence, from which mobs occasionally make forays into the surrounding neighborhoods to commit vandalism and mayhem against businesses, and have now added to their rap sheets by preying on their own, and, additionally, assaulting policemen and even elderly citizens. This is not free speech, it is barbarism, and the spectacle of elected officials permitting the chaos to continue – and in some cases, posing as well-wishers to the “movement” – is little less disgusting than the behavior of the lumpen-losers who are creating the havoc. One has only to look at the record of Tea Party demonstrations and contrast it with the accumulating destruction, violence and filth of the Occuputzei to see the difference between a movement that represents a noble example of legitimate protest, and a maelstrom of the politically inchoate, but definitely sociopathic, sentiments that have cohered and gathered strength as a result of the ascendancy of anti-American leftist nostrums and the false promises of the Provider State.

To the tax-paying residents of New York City, Oakland and other cities that have been afflicted with this stubborn human rash, I say good luck in getting your liberal mayors (and their police departments) to do anything constructive. Liberal politicians typically have been, at best, indifferent defenders of property rights, and it usually takes something of cosmic significance to prompt vigorous remedial action of any sort – say, the existence of trans fats in the menu items of Manhattan’s celebrated beaneries, or the threat to the self-esteem and mental equanimity of peace-loving Muslims everywhere posed by the prospect of a Christian clergyman saying a few words at a memorial service at Ground Zero. In such instances as these, you can count on your elected officials to act with swift resolve. But with respect to property damage, theft, assault, rape, and the creation of physical conditions conducive to the propagation of epidemic diseases – please, don’t bother them with the small stuff.

As the Occupy impasse shows, the rot isn’t limited to the federal government; it reaches deep into many of the states, counties and municipalities of our nation. And no one should be surprised. For every liberal politician who makes it to the big leagues, there are a thousand more beavering away in the minors, some desperately trying to break out of the single-A division, others content to burrow into the fabric of their home towns where they can bedevil their neighbors on a smaller scale, in perpetuity and frequently in near-anonymity. It is the difference between Coptotermes formosanus and Incisitermes marginipennis: the scope for causing damage may vary, but they’re all still termites. And the only way to eradicate their influence is via the voting booth, in which sacred location we should pay as much attention to the local pols as we do to the national.

Unless, of course, we want all of our parks and public places to look like sets from Night of the Living Dead.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

How liberals draw conclusions

A helpful chart, via Protein Wisdom.

Monday movie

Clark Gable and Greer Garson steal a chicken.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Stacy McCain under siege

Stacy's at a conservative get-together in Washington this evening, and a crowd of Occupy zombies is trying to storm the building (with video!)

My new hero?

The German cleaning woman who accidentally destroyed a $1 million work of "art".
File this one under "O" for "Oops." A cleaner with the best intentions accidentally destroyed a piece of art worth more than $1 million when she removed what she thought was a "stain" from the installation. Spoiler alert: It wasn't really a stain.

The piece of art, titled "When It Starts Dripping From The Ceilings," features a series of wooden planks and a (formerly) discolored plastic bowl. The artist, the late Martin Kippenberger, intended for viewers to understand that the bowl had been discolored by water running over the pieces of wood.

Unfortunately, the bowl isn't so discolored anymore. A spokesperson from the art museum in Dortmund, Germany, remarked that "it is now impossible to return it to its original state."
Naw, you might be able to fix it. Any Home Depots in Germany?

Interestingly, the reaction of the private owner who loaned the artwork to the museum was captured on film.

Outrageous (non-political) story of the day

An abused woman is ordered to pay support to her ex-husband.


A fracas breaks out in the psycho ward:
A deranged homeless man who has been squatting among the Occupy Wall Street protesters in lower Manhattan went on a violent, early-morning rampage yesterday, cursing incoherently and kicking down tents.

The only thing that could stop Jeremy Clinch from his Godzilla-like rampage was a left hook to the face delivered by a paranoid fellow protester who claimed to be an ex-Turkish diplomat — and charged that his assailant was carrying out a plot hatched by Mayor Bloomberg.

"We are the 99%!"

Just what America, exactly, has Michelle Obama been living in?

Another important date I missed.

Quite possibly the craziest movie set in history.

Getting to know the real Nostradamus.

99% meet pump-action shotgun.

A good roundup of links by Professor Reynolds on Politico and Herman Cain.

Turnout the lights, the party’s over…

ACORN (again).

Iran has declared war, in case anyone ever gets around to noticing.

A fabulous photo of NGC 3603 at Et Cetera (Oh, come on! Don’t tell me you’ve never heard of NGC 3603. Why, I’ve known about it for, er, minutes).

The latest anti-Obama bumper sticker


Update: We should laugh while we can. Obama’s only part of the problem – the winning lottery ticket that blew, serendipitously, through the Democrats’s window, but which they can only cash in once. There are plenty of Republicans to worry about, too.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Happy Feet Friday

Little Walter gets all jumpy with his harmonica.

Liberal schizophrenia

Jean Quan, Democratic mayor of Oakland, first called out the police to clear away a mob of OWS protesters, but now is offering public employees a day off to support them.

Liberals still don’t seem to have figured out that they are the establishment (I don’t know if it will be any comfort to them, but the protesters don’t seem to be able to figure that out, either). Being a liberal establishmentarian poses a very troublesome dilemma. On the one hand, you’ve finally got the power you always wanted; on the other, your core values are a mish-mash of poorly-digested leftist dogma, centered largely on the concept of victimhood. How can you lash out at the unwashed when you’ve always prided yourself on being their champion? How do you come to terms with the fact that the “oppressed” include a high proportion of self-destructive losers who would fail to prosper under any kind of economic system? How is all of this going to play out on MSNBC?

You made your sleeping bag, Jean. Lie in it.

The Epistle of St. Ben

Not content to rewrite history, Obama’s minions are now trying to rewrite the Bible.
From today’s briefing:

MR. CARNEY: Well, I believe the phrase from the Bible* is, “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” And I think the point the President is making is that we should -- we have it within our capacity to do the things to help the American people.

The White House adds in the official transcript:

* This common phrase does not appear in the Bible.
The phrase has been variously attributed to Benjamin Franklin and to one of Aesop’s Fables. There is a rumor going around that the proverb appeared by virtue of divine agency on a miraculous scorecard God handed down to Obama on the golf course, but I’ve been unable to substantiate it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Jon Corzine, foe of income inequality

Apparently he's trying to level the playing field by bankrupting his investors.
To read a recounting of Corzine’s tenure at MF Global Holdings is to wonder how he missed the 2008 financial crisis. Oh, yes! That’s right: he was the governor of New Jersey, a job he won in 2005 after one term in the Senate. Still, you would think that as a former Wall Street titan, he would have noticed that taking giant bets on shaky, long-term bonds while financing your operations with overnight loans that can be pulled at any second is not exactly a recipe for success.

But that’s exactly what Corzine did. After taking over the firm in March 2010 — just months after losing his re-election bid to Chris Christie — he decided to transform the derivatives broker into something sexier, something more like his old firm, Goldman Sachs. In particular, he wanted MF Global to risk its own capital, trading for its own account, just like Goldman had so successfully done when he was running it.

Stunningly, the risky bets he took at MF Global were on European sovereign debt.

Gingrich story untrue

I had heard for years that Newt Gingrich swinishly dropped into the hospital room where his wife was suffering from terminal cancer and tried to get her to sign divorce papers. Didn't happen, according to his daughter.

I am glad to hear that he has been cleared of what was always an extremely troubling charge.

Wouldn't it be better to arrest the OWS protesters?

Still, I suppose suing them is better than nothing.

Strange bedfellows

Zombie has a list - a partial list - of Occupy Wall Street's supporters and well-wishers.